Brain-damaged scientist given £5 million for 999 delay

Brain-damaged scientist given £5 million for 999 delay
Caren Paterson 

A scientist left brain-damaged after she waited 100 minutes for an ambulance has been awarded £5million compensation.

Caren Paterson, who needs round-the-clock care and will be unable to work again, receives £1.4million in a lump sum, as well as annual payments for her treatment.

The 36-year-old collapsed at her north London home and suffered a heart attack five minutes before help arrived in October 2007.

An ambulance crew was just 100m away when her boyfriend called 999 – but they had to wait for a police escort as her Islington address had ‘inexplicably’ been labelled ‘high risk’, lawyer John Davis told the High Court.

After the case Ms Paterson’s mother, Eleanor, said: ‘The thought of an ambulance crew waiting round the corner while my daughter lay in her flat as her condition went from serious to life threatening, causing irreparable damage to her brain, is still shocking.’ Ms Paterson, who was a genetic scientist at King’s College London, now suffers from chronic amnesia and is often confused and disorientated. In the long term, it is hoped she will be able to live in her own home with skilled carers.

Philip Havers QC, representing the London Ambulance Service, expressed ‘sincere apologies’ to the family about the shortcomings of the NHS trust.

Mr Davis, added: ‘Emergency crews eventually arrived 102 minutes after the first 999 call. Even then, there was nobody senior enough to administer the treatment that she needed.

‘Delays of even seconds can make a huge difference, let alone delays of well over an hour.’

Ms Paterson is currently being cared for at a rehabilitation centre in North Yorkshire.

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17 June 2014 | 10:22 pm – Source:

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